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Pajarito Peak - 1 member in 2 triplogs has rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 01 2020
HikerWill
avatar

 Photos 1,388
 Triplogs 112

male
 Joined Apr 18 2020
 Nogales, AZ
Pajarito PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2020
HikerWill
Hiking3.40 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles   4 Hrs      1.05 mph
1,100 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
FR 4203
Parked the truck at a dead end turn around instead of starting at the beginning of an unnumbered road. There is a spring here with a big white cap on it. 20' across.
This chopped off a few hundred yards though I did have to make my way through some underbrush. Nothing too bad. Nary a Scratch.
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At the .85 mark left the road because it got insanely steep and looked like it would go wayyyyy above the CCC tank. There is a very faint trail that got better the further I got from the road. There were several caches of water hidden under the few trees on the canyon hillside. One misstep along this trail would send you down a slippery slope and over a cliff.

--There is a path on the other side of the canyon about the same elevation as this one.
I was headed this way whether there was a path or not because the elevation gain and loss on the road would have been too much.
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1.10 – headed off the trail/path and into the canyon at 1.14. there is some shade in the canyon.
1.35 – CCC tank. The tank has been eroded right in the middle. It’s a lot higher up than most and the drainage area is small. There was no water.
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Headed South and up out of the tank on the grey rocks. Followed the fence south for a few yards and then it turned west. I followed it till it headed South again and stayed on the West side of the fence so I could pop over the edge of the ridge once in a while and look at Walker Canyon and a side canyon below.
Then it got steep.
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1.53 – flatness… ahhhhhh and shade AHHHHHH.
Small fire ring here. The view is amazing. Was excited to see what it looks like at the top and… wondering if I should turn around because I got a late start.
After this flat place it gets steep and steeper… and…. Yeh.

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1.71…. the top!
There is a 4x8 foot solar panel, antennas and a camera up there. What I thought was the register turned out to be a battery hooked up to a smaller solar panel so I packed that back carefully.
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The real register is easy enough to find.
Had lunch in the shade of the solar panel and headed back.
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Times:
10:21 left truck with half a PBJ, cashews and 3 quarts of water. One frozen.
11:14 first water break and rest in shade. There isn’t much good shade.
11:20 Left shade
11:31 CCC Tank
11:41 headed out of tank to Pajarito peak
11:52 flat spot with shade
12:10 Top!
12:31 left the top. Wanted to stay longer but it was getting hot…. Ter
12:52 back down to CCC tank
1:05 back at first rest stop
2:24 back at the truck. 1 pint of water left. Half ice.
4 hours total trip.
45 minutes of rest and lunch.

I changed my plan of attack this morning when I saw the road on the satellite view. I’m glad this way worked. I think it was easier than the path along the ridge to the South.
This road goes all the way to the saddle above CCC tank. But staying on the road the whole trip is a bad idea unless you just want a workout.
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Next time I would like to come down the ridge to the South of the road. This was my original plan of attack today. I did enough research to go up this way but didn’t want to risk coming back that way without knowing what to expect. There is a pretty decent trail on that ridge.

All in all a good hike. I wish I hadn’t misplaced my Debit card and wasted my morning going to 3 different places where I might have left it….
It was in the couch.

There are some other features for further exploration up that way.

360 degree view at the top.
Start elevation = 4200
CCC tank 4800
Pajarito Peak 5236
It's hard for me to give an accurate time distance log. Sometimes a mile takes 15 minutes but if there is something interesting along the way a mile can take hours.
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ALSO... Found a quarter at the top right beside the solar panel. If you can identify it I'll mail it to you... C.O.D.
Named place
Named place
CCC Tank Pajarito Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Few reds
1 archive
Oct 09 2016
AZHiker456
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 Guides 28
 Routes 197
 Photos 7,418
 Triplogs 184

40 female
 Joined Nov 07 2015
 
Pajarito PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking6.68 Miles 2,682 AEG
Hiking6.68 Miles   4 Hrs   27 Mns   1.66 mph
2,682 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My return from the peak was very ‘clean’, making it a good out-and-back type of ‘official route’, as detailed in the Description I wrote. My approach on the other hand left much to desired, [at least as far as a ‘model’ route is concerned]:

First I missed the turn for FR 4197 which resulted in a somewhat steep, catclaw filled bushwhack from FR 4195 over to FR 4197.

Next, [at the saddle area after the Morning Mine], I inadvertently started heading up the ridge to the SE instead of dropping down into Walker Canyon from the saddle area as I had intended, adding 0.20 miles. Ironically, [had I continued on up the ridge and then dropped into Walker Canyon], I probably would’ve been better off, given my less-than-average skills when it comes to negotiating loose footing. Although my natural athleticism [and trekking poles!] typically keep me on one/two feet, the terrain put me in my place today, sending me straight to my ass. Luckily, [just like the last “fall” I took back in August while descending Red Boy Peak in the Sierritas], it was more of a small spill vs a full out, ‘head over heels’ type of fall; [and once again the slope was steep enough that my ass wasn’t very far from the ground when I started to fall].

Finally and best of all was when ‘summit fever’ told hold about 0.15 miles after I’d entered Walker Canyon. Instead of staying in the canyon and waiting for the much more gradual ridge that I detailed in the Description, I decided to bank up a little early… talk about an ascent from hell. :lol: With somewhat loose footing in combination with a very steep slope, this was the type of uphill where you couldn’t stop without literally going into a downward slide. There were a few routes that helped with the brutal climb up but they definitely didn’t look human. My guess was they were created by water run-off and/or the resident animals; several sightings of mountain lion prints soon after was definitely confirmation of the latter. The brush was on the moderate end of the brush-factor spectrum, with some light areas and other areas on the heavier side; and luckily most of it was of the non-thorny variety. For the most part, any type of brush that did not have thorns was extremely welcome in terms of something to grab on to… although with that being said, I had an allergic reaction to one of the shrubs that definitely didn’t make the ascent any easier. While it wasn’t anything serious, my eyes suddenly started watering to the point where I literally could not see; and I had to resort to blotting them with one hand while pulling myself upward with the other. While I don’t have allergy problems per say, I’m guessing that contact of certain flowers/plants/shrubs directly in the eyes/month/nose was a bit much. Luckily it didn’t last for very long.

After finally making it up onto the ridgeline, [to the NE of UN 4998], the rest of the way to Pajarito Peak was as smooth sailing as it gets. Despite some tall grass, the ridgeline is very well routed, and part of the ridgeline, [starting near UN 4998 and down to saddle area just to the West of CCC Tank] even has a faint jeep road not shown on the topos. The views from Pajarito were just spectacular… definitely as awesome as those from Atascosa, possibly even better.

The return trip was much more pleasant. The relatively gradual descent off Pajarito’s immediate NW ridge, followed by angling West onto a minor ridge that leads back down into Walker Canyon, was very smooth sailing. Walker Canyon was awesome, and I’ll definitely be going back at some point to explore it and grab some of the other fun-looking peaks nearby. And, while the climb out of Walker Canyon was on the steep side, [there were a few places where is was impossible to stop or slow up without sliding backwards…], it was a breeze relative to the torturous slope I’d selected to exit the canyon on the way to the peak.
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average hiking speed 1.35 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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